First, it was, add a picture to your post. Then it was, insert a video to get engagement up. Now if you want to be able to get in front of your audience you are hearing Live stream. whether you are talking about Periscope Facebook live YouTube live or any of the myriads of other live streaming services that have cropped up.

Which ever way you look at it, Live streaming is the "in" thing. Facebook has its algorithm set to that your live stream will show up in more news feeds than even regular video and even more often than a picture. So why is Live streaming becoming so popular? To answer that let's look at what is live streaming and how to use it to build customers.

What is Live streaming?

Live streams in the world of the internet is a media form that is being played and can't be stopped paused or restarted. In essence terrestrial radio is an audio stream. while television is a video stream. You can't stop the radio and pick back up right where you left off. Without some type of DVR, you can't stop television.

Live streaming is the matter of creating content on the spot. Your followers have to know when you are going to run the stream for them to be able to see it. Now with Periscope and Facebook live there is a small change to the way streams are handled. That change is the recording of the stream for later play back. That way more of your followers are able to see the replay. Because even though everybody is on Facebook they are not on at the same time.

Whats so important about Live Streaming?

We as humans love information. What type of information depends on the person. Some people only want to know when the next episode of Rick and Morty is going to be played. While there are others who want to know about your product or your company.

As mentioned earlier Facebook and Twitter have set their algorithms to show live streams before all else. So people are going to see that you either are on right now and they can join the stream is session or they can watch the replay. So both platforms are going to do the advertising for you as long as you take the time to create the content.

If you want to be in front of your customer and potential clients then you might look at finding the time and topics to talk about because people are watching and sharing.

How do you start?

First, decide what you want to talk about? Do you want to do a Q and A? or do you want to do interviews or behind the scenes. The type of live stream you are wanting to do is important but you are not beholden to your choice. You may want to do a Question and Answer one time, and a behind the scenes next and a CEO interview next. Just make sure your show format is relevant to your industry. A "behind the scenes" may not be the best bet if you are in a very loud environment as an example.

I would first sit down and write out 10 topics you can talk about. Doesn't matter if you are solo or you need a co-host to ask questions. that will come later at this moment just think of topics.

Once you have chosen what you are wanting to talk about and where you are going to have your live stream it is time to chose when.

First thing to do right off the bat is to welcome the replay viewers. These good folks will be the only ones to see this so acknowledge their time and attention by say welcome.

After you have said your hello quickly tell the viewers what this live stream is going to be about. So, if it is about your new widget then say something to the effect as " Today we are talking about the brand new whizbang 4000 and what can do." Then get on with the show. People want to know what they are getting into. So let them know.

The equipment is important but it is not so important that you spend thousands of dollars. You can have a good setup with your iPhone and a Rode Smartlav+ Microphone*and a tripod to hold the phone. You are then setup and ready to go.

Now to start the show, welcome the replay viewers first. That is because they are seeing your video from the very first. Your live viewers will most likely miss the very first of the show. So acknowledge those who will give you the most views.

If you want to step up your game then you can use an assortment of tools that will help you improve your Live stream game. Whether it is an HD webcam or You decide to get Wirecast for your studio that you are building. Remember the content is what you want to focus on. Provide the very best value to your viewers you possibly are able to do. You can spend thousands of dollars on cameras and crew but no one will watch if it is crap.

How to beat your competition?

The biggest key to beating your competition in the Live streaming game is what I recommended in another post and that is consistency. Be consistent. There is no better strategy. If your viewers know that you are going to be on every Saturday at 10 am then they are going to t come to expecting to see you. They will be more likely to share the value you provide. Though they go to know when you are going to be online. There are ways you can schedule a live stream but people will be more inclined to watch each time when you are consistent.

Each time you start your stream know that there isn't going to be many people there. Don't wait for more to show up. start off with the replayers in mind. thank them for watching the replay and ask them to share this video. Your audience will filter in as the show progresses.

Don't short cut the process, you will hear other people say that the video needs to be short for those who don't have a long attention span. I am saying go long. Make your video stream as long as it needs. As Valerie Geller says

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It takes time for your audience to show up so don't torture those that have already arrived. get your show moving and the new arrivals can go back if they are missing some information.

So take a good look at the live button you have on your status update. Start out of the gate with a bang. Provide value to your viewers and you can use the live streaming feature to a roaring success.

DO you use Live video? what tips do you recommend? Share them in the Comments section below.

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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Live Streaming and How to Out Distance Your Competition
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